“I love Yelp!” says Rachael Waggoner, owner of Dazzlin Digits 3D Nails in Lakewood, Colo. “I would say about 70% of my clients who found me on the Internet have found me through Yelp. The combination of having a strong website with good SEO words and the use of Yelp advertising is awesome.” For the past year and a half, Waggoner has been investing precious marketing funds in pay-per-click advertising on Yelp.

Basically, for a fee, Yelp displays ads for a business in search results and on competitors’ business pages and each time a user clicks on that business’s ad, the business pays Yelp for the click. The cost per click is based on advertiser demand in the category and the region. “When a potential client goes in and types ‘nails’ and ‘Lakewood Colorado’ or similar search words, then I pop up as a listing in the first few businesses on the page,” says Waggoner. “It’s very similar to a Google search except you are operating on Yelp’s platform. It takes work to maintain a listing on the first page of the search results. I constantly upload new photos, add language, and try to engage with the customers who have inquired.” Having a customer leave a review is incredibly good for your rankings as well, she notes.

“The investment in pay-per-click has definitely given me a return. I usually budget $50 per month and then, starting in September, I raise that to $100 for holidays. Yelp gets the customers in my chair, but then of course it’s my job to retain them.”

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